Economic incentives for historic preservation and rehabilitation serve to stimulate research and preserve our historic properties. The MHC administers a federal grants-in-aid program for survey and planning projects as well as a state matching grant program for restoration, rehabilitation, and research of properties listed in the State Register. When funds are available, reimbursement grants are awarded annually through a competitive application process.
Survey and Planning Grants
Survey and Planning Grants provide 50% matching federal funds for the preparation of community surveys, preservation plans, preparation of historic district studies and legislation, archaeological surveys, nominations to the National Register, and educational preservation programs. Eligible applicants are local historical commissions, Certified Local Governments, local and state agencies, educational institutions, and private organizations.
Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund
In years when the Commonwealth authorizes funds, monies are available
for the restoration, rehabilitation, stabilization, and documentation
of historic and archaeological properties owned by municipalities or nonprofit
organizations. Through the Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund (MPPF)*,
50% matching grants are available to qualifying properties listed
on the State Register to ensure their physical preservation.
A highlight of this unique program, the first of its kind in the nation,
is the option applicants have to apply for up to 75% of the total
project cost if they are willing to commit an additional 25% toward
an endowment fund for long-range preservation and maintenance of the property.
Scopes of work for projects range from the acquisition of an endangered property, to the restoration of an historic building, to research projects such as historic structures reports, archaeological data recovery projects, or study of innovative preservation techniques.
*(MGL Ch. 9 Section 27A)
Preservation Restrictions* protect historic and archaeological properties
from changes that may be inappropriate. A Preservation Restriction (easement)
on a property restricts present and future owners from altering a specified
portion of that building, structure, or site. A restriction can run for
a few years or in perpetuity and may be included as part of the property
deed. Preservation restrictions can be donated or purchased by a government
body or private preservation organization and are enforced by the holder
of the restriction.
Charitable donations of easements on historical buildings or archaeological
sites may qualify for federal income tax deductions.
*(MGL Ch. 184 Sections 31-33)